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May 3rd, 2006, 03:50 PM
I'm preparing to send off my first short story for publication. I discovered that there are nearly as many opinions on the "proper submission format" as there are magazines to submit to. However, I finally settled on a format that seemed to be a consensus of the opinions.

Now I still have 1 question ... for a 17 page short story (double spaced, 12pt, 1 inch margins, etc) with a cover letter and a SASE, do I need to clip the story pages or anything together? Or send it loose in the envelope? Most of the submission articles I found seemed to be for novel manuscripts and said "use a rubberband, not a paperclip." I think a rubberband will roll up my small manuscript.

So, is one of these the correct way to do it?

clip the story together but leave the cover letter and SASE loose,
clip the SASE to the back of the cover letter and leave the story loose,
clip it all together,
no clipping ... just leave it all loose,
something else?

I just don't want to send it in and get a black mark against me for being an idiot.


May 3rd, 2006, 06:56 PM
If you can, try to follow the submission guidelines of the particular magazine you are submitting to. A lot of the magazines don't want a cover letter.

Clip the story, SASE and cover letter, if you have one, all together, but don't staple. Make sure your name and phone number or email address is on every page of the story, usually at the top righthand corner, and your mail address and contact info is on the first page of the story, usually in the top righthand corner. The story doesn't have to have a title page. The SASE has to have the stamps stuck on it.

And believe me, there's no way you'll look like an idiot, compared to the sort of submissions they get sent.

May 3rd, 2006, 07:03 PM
Thanks Kat.

The magazine doesn't have in info about a cover letter, but they do have a section for "first timers" and I want to be sure and mention that I have never been published before so I will be considered for that group.

All it says in submission guidlines is "All manuscripts should be printed on one side of the paper and double-spaced." Then a couple of sentences about including an SASE.

Thanks again for the advice. I'm going to mail it tomorrow.